Transcript: HC Fisher & QB Bradford, 9-4-13

Posted Sep 4, 2013

(On the reasons for LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar’s release)
We’re going to continue to make roster moves probably throughout the year. We thought it was in the best interest of the organization right now to make that move, and we’ll just address things down the road, I guess. But, we’re scouring the waiver wire right now and trying to put ourselves in a position to upgrade the bottom half of the roster.”

(On if Dunbar’s release was because of the four-game suspension)
“Well, we haven’t said this is it as far as his future’s concerned here, but we felt it was in the best interest of the organization right now.”

(On if there is a possibility that Dunbar would return to the team)
“Of course, there’s a good possibility. Anything’s possible.”

(On if there were any other incidents or problems after Dunbar’s suspension)
“There was nothing, no. He and I discussed it, we shared it with you guys, we got it put behind us with the club and his teammates are concerned. There were no other issues. It was just a decision we had to make.”

(On if there is any concern with the youth in the back-up spots now that Dunbar is not on the roster)
“Well, he wasn’t going to be here for four weeks anyway. So, we’re going to continue to look and see what’s out there.”

(On what his confidence level is like in LB Will Witherspoon)
“’Spoon’s done a great job since he’s been here. He’s been a consistent, productive player every place he’s been. Obviously, we brought Will in here with the knowledge that Jo-Lonn was not going to be available.”

(On DE Eugene Sims’ contract extension)
“Along the same lines, we’re planning for our future, and we felt it was in the best interest of the club to lock him in for a few more years. It was a good deal for both sides, and we’ve got a solid defensive front now for a number of years to come.”

(On what he expects to see out of QB Sam Bradford this season)
“Sam’s going to go out there and just play the position and execute. We felt like he’s had a great camp and we feel he has a good feel for the plan right now. He knows the challenge that he’s up against from a defensive standpoint. It’s a new defense with talented players. He’s going to have his hands full, but we’ve got confidence in him that he’ll be able to put points on the board for us.”

(On how WR Tavon Austin’s preseason was and state of readiness for the season)
“He’s ready to go. He’s prepared to do whatever we ask him to do for us this week.”

(On if Austin has a good grasp of the playbook)
“Yes. He’s not had any issues whatsoever with our offense since his arrival.”

(On if LB Alec Ogletree progressed throughout the preseason)
“Yeah, Alec has improved each week. We saw steady improvement from preseason Game 1 all the way through the fourth one. Saw the highlights in week three, the things he’s capable of doing. It’s different. He’s not played an NFL game. His ability to adjust within the framework of our defensive scheme is going to be essential this week because that’s going to be important – on both sides of the ball for that matter, our ability to adjust.”

(On RB Chase Reynolds perseverance to make the 53-man roster)
“He’s done everything asked of him since his arrival, especially last year with the scout team stuff and the production in the preseason. He’s here, obviously, because we feel like he’s a core special teams player for us, and that’s what he’ll be doing this weekend.”

(On his concerns with the youth of the roster)
“No, that’s not an excuse. We’re young, but that’s not an excuse as far as what takes place on Sundays. We’re going to line people up because they’re ready to play. I think it’s a promising future for us, but I’m not concerned about it.”

(On if he likes working with ‘kids’)
“I raised three, but no. These are young men. They’re not kids, and they’re going to be ready to play.”

(On Cardinals QB Carson Palmer’s strengths)
“His strengths are his experience. He’s 6’5’’, he sees very well, he’s an accurate thrower, he protects the football. I’ve watched him in some great battles against some excellent quarterbacks over the years, and he’s hung in there. He controls things on the line of scrimmage. He masters the offense. They’ve got good people around him. He’ll put them in the best situation at any given time from a run/pass standpoint. He really is going to improve their football team.”

(On Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson playing offense)
“Well, he had four or five snaps – that’s all – this preseason. Again, it goes back to our ability to adjust. They’ve got four receivers on their roster, so one would expect to see him on the offensive side of the ball. We’ll approach him with respect because he’s a very dangerous weapon, but he also will be treated, defensively, like any other position that he lines up at.”

(On how the offense looked in their first day of preparation for Arizona after ‘vanilla’ game plans in the preseason)
“Everything was fine for our first day of preparation.”

(On how the offense was throughout camp)
“We’ve been pleased with its progress. You’ve been at practice. You’ve kind of got a sense for what we’re doing. We just have to carry it over to the game.” 

Rams QB Sam Bradford – Post-Practice – September 4, 2013

(On Arizona’s new changes on defense)
“They do. I think that they’ve definitely made improvements to their defense from last year. Obviously, their front is pretty much the same, but some of the guys that they’ve added in the back end really help that group. And then obviously with a new D-coordinator, you’ve kind of got to expect the unexpected in game 1. Obviously, we’re going to study what they’ve shown on tape during the preseason, but going into Week 1, we’ve got to be prepared to see anything and expect them to pull out all their tricks this week.”

(On what Cardinals Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles does with his defenses)
“Yeah, I think that’s eventually something we’ll talk about, his favorite blitzes from the past, things that he’s done in openers in the past and kind of mix that in to what he’s done this preseason. But, obviously, we’ve got to look at what they’ve done this preseason. Expect them to come out. That’s what they’ve worked, that’s what they’ve planned to play.”

(On expecting the unexpected from an opposing defense)
“That’s just part of it. I think the great thing about this offense is the system is the rules that we have in protection, the rules that we have in our run game really solve any problems that they could throw at us. It’s just going to be a matter of communicating those issues at the line, and I think that’s what we’ve really stressed to those young guys early in the week is communication. Things are going to happen faster. We’ve got to make sure that we’re on the same page. Don’t get sped up, still go through the procedure of communicating, making sure that all the small details are accounted for.”

(On if he wished for more time to prepare for the regular season)
“No, I’m ready to go. I’m ready to see these young guys out there. They’ve put in a lot of time. They’ve done a great job learning the system so far. I think they’ve made tremendous strides from when they first showed up in OTAs till right now. We had a great training camp. It’s going to be really fun to see those guys get out there and light it up on Sunday.”

(On what he’s seen from WR Tavon Austin)
“Just his maturity as far as understanding what we’re asking him to do on certain plays and certain routes. I think, obviously, when he first got here, he was still just trying to learn the concepts and learn the routes – basically general guidelines as to where he’s supposed to be and what he was supposed to run. But, I think he’s starting to understand the finer points of the offense and of the routes that he’s running. He came up to me at practice a couple times today and talked to me about small adjustments verse different coverages that they showed us. And that shows a lot to me because we haven’t had those conversations before. I think it’s really great to see something like that happen.”

(On what ‘taking the next’ step entails for him personally)
“Being more efficient. I think that’s something that me and ‘Schotty’ (Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) have talked a lot about in the offseason and even going through the preseason. Last year we really struggled on third down, but a big reason of that is because first and second down weren’t very efficient. There’s times during games where I’ve got to understand down and distance better and get us into better situations – take a check down on first down instead of trying to force something down the field. That way we get ourselves to second-and-6 instead of second-and-10 and try to open things up for us. But, I would say for the most part, efficiency is really the next step where I need to take.”

(On statistical markers that he wants to achieve)
“I wouldn’t say there’s any individual statistic markers. I think the big thing is going to be looking at the production of this offense as a whole at the end of the year and seeing what we were able to accomplish. We set some goals on Tuesday in the offensive meeting room and talked about who we wanted to be and what we wanted to accomplish. I think if we can look back and say that we achieved those goals, it would be a successful year.”

(On if those goals were statistical)
“Some of them are, yes.”

(On the variety of weapons he has)
“I think the biggest thing they all have in common is speed. Like you said, we’ve got all different shapes and sizes of guys who are able to make plays now. It’s really fun as a quarterback to drop back and know that every five positions that are running routes, I’ve got someone who, if I get the ball into their hands, there’s a possibility that they could break a tackle and create an explosive play. It just opens up a lot of different options, things that we haven’t had in the past.”

(On the running backs improvement in pass protection)
“I think those guys have done a great job. Obviously, ’Schotty’ stresses to that group that if we can’t rely on them to pick up blitzes, they’re not going to play. It doesn’t matter how great you can run the football. If you can’t block, then it’s going to be hard to play in this offense, and I think those guys took that as a challenge. For young guys, that’s usually one of the tougher things, but going against our defense every day in practice was really good for those young guys because they threw a lot of different blitzes at us. I think those guys have definitely improved in that area. I think the biggest thing for them is just to relax on Sunday and go out and do exactly what they’ve been doing in practice during training camp.”

(On how much more stuff they have to use in their playbook)
“What we’ve ran in the preseason is exactly what we’re going to run in the game (joking). Those are the only plays that we’ve got in the playbook. Tell Arizona that. If you guys could send them that copy, that would be great.”

(On Arizona being a blitz-heavy defense)
“They do have a tendency to blitz, especially when they stay in their base personnel group. Some of those are only five man pressures, but when they stay base I think, in the preseason, it’s been over 50% blitz. So, that’s something when we’re in ‘12’, ‘21’, ‘13’ (-personnel sets), we’ve got to be prepared to stop those blitzes.”

(On if it is good to have TE Lance Kendricks back)
“Absolutely. It’s great to have Lance back out there. He’s a great player. Everyone saw what he was able to do last year both in the passing game and his blocking ability in the run game. So, to have him back and now be able to put him and (TE) Jared (Cook) on the field at the same time, that’s going to be a really tough group for defenses to try to defend.”

(On if Kendricks will be up to speed after missing training camp)
“I think so. I think the great thing about that is going into the second year, nothing’s really new for Lance. He’s done everything that we’re asking him to do. This week, he was able to come out and watch the walk-thrus, take part in the walk-thrus. So, I think that really helped him, and I wouldn’t expect him to have any trouble coming to speed.”